Many medications available for common medical conditions, such as asthma or hay-fever, may contain prohibited substances. You need to be aware that these are readily available in products prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter in a pharmacy.
The advice from UK Anti-Doping is to check every single substance or medication before you use it, even if you have used it before. It is also important to remember that medications bought abroad may contain different substances than those in the UK and you should always check before you take them.
As an athlete, one of the most important things to be aware of is the principle of strict liability. This means that you are personally responsible for any banned substance found in your system, regardless of how it got there and whether or not you had an intention to cheat.
Medicines bought in the UK, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Australia or Japan, can be checked using Global Drug Reference Online (or GlobalDRO) www.globaldro.com
The system has the ability to check the status of branded medications and individual active ingredients, for both in-competition and out-of-compeitition. It will also provide a unique reference number for every search that you conduct for your records.
The status of the substance will be one of the following:
- Prohibited - The substance is prohibited in this form and will return a positive test if found in an athlete's system.
- Conditional - There is a limit to the amount of this substance an athlete can have present in their body, or there are conditions on the methods of its use (eg it can only be inhaled and not taken in tablet form). This is clearly detailed and care should be taken when taking a prescribed dose.
- Not Prohibited - The substance is not currently on the WADA Prohibited List.